My sixth grade son came home last week and announced, “I need a pair of needles for knitting club!” Huh? Not something I thought I would ever hear in my house. I am not exactly crafty and really, knitting club in middle school? My interest was piqued and I had to inquire further!
Here’s the deal: My son attends a middle school with an emphasis on arts integration. As part of an upcoming Arts Day, the faculty is guiding the students in a yarn bombing…basically kids knit or croquet patches and “explode” them all over to liven up the building. I’ve included a few examples of yarn bombing from our community so you get the idea. My son and his friends (boys and girls) decided to join. Pretty cool!
I got to thinking, other than demonstrating school spirit, why would he want to spend time after school knitting? I realized it is the same reason that I patiently tried my hand at needlepoint as a child at my grandmother’s side. It is as much about the craft as it is the company.
The science teacher leading this club is an incredible raconteur. Ms. S has spent an amazing career crisscrossing the globe on scientific explorations and my son is fascinated by her stories. Just as I was fascinated by my grandmother’s tales of the Great Depression, her mother’s millinery shop, and the driving her early model Ford across state lines to the speakeasys. It’s about community and conversation.
As each stitch is made, the metaphoric yarns will be spun and the tie that binds the participants will be strengthened. It’s no coincidence that generations of women sat in circles knitting, sewing or patching quilts. It’s about creating community and connection. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for my son to bond with others while expressing his artistic vision.
So is it about the knitting or the stories? It’s about both and let’s remember to take the time to find these moments with our own kids.
What activities did you do with your grandmothers or grandfathers to bond? Cooking? Woodworking? Gardening? Do you continue these with your own children or have you found something new? I’d love to hear from you!